Devin McCourty implores Patriots to call about Lamar Jackson trade


The New England Patriots spent a first-round pick on a quarterback just two years ago, and Mac Jones has the support of his teammates (and team owner) entering Year 3.

But a former NFL MVP quarterback also is available for trade, and Devin McCourty believes the Patriots would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn't at least explore the opportunity.

During an appearance Tuesday on ESPN's "Get Up!", the ex-Patriots safety said he wants New England to reach out to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who announced Monday he requested a trade from the team on March 2.

Curran: Do Patriots have enough talent to win? McCourty believes so

"You have to make a call and see," McCourty said. "If you hear Lamar Jackson is interested in playing on your team ... he's one of the rare quarterbacks that you say, 'He's a guy.' When he gets out there, he can go change a franchise. So you’ve got to at least call and say, ‘Hey, Baltimore, what’s up? What are we talking about here? What is it going to take?'"

Jackson, 26, is one of the NFL's most dynamic quarterbacks. He amassed 4,333 total yards (3,127 passing; 1,206 rushing) and 43 total touchdowns during his 2019 MVP campaign and is 45-16 as Baltimore's starting quarterback. He's arguably the best rushing QB in the league who would give new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien a dangerous weapon and re-establish the Patriots as legitimate contenders.

Jackson doesn't come without drawbacks, however. He carries a hefty $ 32 million cap hit (compared to Jones' $ 4.25 million cap hit) and would require a lucrative new contract when he hits free agency next offseason. Jackson's run-heavy game also makes him an injury risk; he's missed 10 games combined over the past two seasons and was unavailable for Baltimore's AFC Wild Card Game last season due to a PCL injury.

Then again, the Patriots could use a franchise-changing jolt after three seasons of mediocrity, and there's plenty of smoke surrounding Jackson. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday that rapper Meek Mill texted him claiming Jackson wanted to come to New England, while the two-time Pro Bowler has some admirers in New England's own locker room, as well.

The Patriots could decide they want to see how Jones fares with a legitimate offensive coordinator rather than splurge on Jackson, but there's plenty of outside pressure for Bill Belichick and his staff to at least consider adding the talented QB.

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